Proverbs 31:10–31 comment (0)
May 8, 2014
By Robert Olsen, Ph.D.
Related Scripture: Proverbs 31:10–31
Explore the Bible
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
Proverbs 31 is written by King Lemuel, who is an unknown figure. His name does not appear in the lists of either the kings of Judah or Israel (the Northern tribes). There are several different views as to who this man is — some suggest it refers to King Solomon — but regardless, the Holy Spirit saw fit to put this proverb in the text of Holy Scripture, making it profitable for us and inspired.
Verses 10–31 deal with a biblical model for wives, but it is good advice for women at any stage in life, married or unmarried. In celebration of Mother’s Day, it is good to remember why we are thankful for our mothers.
For Their Diligence (10–19)
The opening of this proverb recognizes the value of a capable wife. In some modern movies or books women are seen as “trophy” wives, where the husband married them for their looks or status. This is incredible foolishness because what is attractive about a woman is her commitment to the Lord. This is what a woman should strive to achieve and what men should desire. In these verses it also is evident that the woman is diligent and industrious. The woman should not expect to sit around all day and watch soap operas. Not only is there cooking, cleaning, ironing and mending clothes, but there also is taking care of the needs of the children. The idea that a housewife doesn’t have a “job” is ridiculous. It is an incredibly difficult and necessary job. However, in modern America, it also is not uncommon to have a wife who works outside of the home. In either case, the main point is that in whatever task a woman finds herself — at home or in an office — she is to work diligently.
We need to remember to treasure our mothers and wives for their diligence in fulfilling their responsibilities.
For Their Compassion (20)
Even though a godly woman is busy fulfilling her duties as a mother and/or wife, verse 20 indicates this does not lead to the exclusion of those in need. Martin Luther’s wife, Katherine, was known for having to deal with the countless students and visitors that Martin Luther invited into his home. He was always willing to be hospitable to those in need, and his wife was the one who predominantly cared for their needs.
For Their Dedication to Family (21–29)
These verses show the benefits of a godly wife who has strength and character. Her dedication to her family is demonstrated by the fact that her kids are clothed (v. 21), her husband’s reputation is enhanced (v. 23) and she gives wise instruction in the home. For those men who are married, these verses resonate. When I first had to get my kids dressed for school, I didn’t even know the proper way a jumper was supposed to go on my daughters. Getting my kids’ lunches ready is comprised of filling their lunch boxes with crackers and pretzels instead of a wholesome meal. It is easy to overlook the many ways a mother gets the children and the house prepared. For those who don’t realize the amount of dedication this takes, just try to fulfill the duties of a mother for one day and you will be sure to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes for a mother to help run the family.
For Their Devotion to the Lord (30–31)
The most important aspect about a woman is her devotion to the Lord. A woman who loves and fears the Lord is to be praised above all other women. Many people place an emphasis on how a woman looks, but eventually beauty fades. If a relationship is built upon looks, it will not last. You can see how prevalent this view is in America because one look at Hollywood reveals such ideas. Once an actress hits 40 it seems that they begin to have plastic surgery to try to retain their looks from their youth. How vain is it to maintain the appearance of youth. Instead godly women need to focus on their relationship with the Lord, as this is the true source of a woman’s beauty.